Two biotechs aim to broaden the reach of cancer immunotherapy by applying gene editing tools to an emerging form of cell therapy through a wide-ranging collaboration.
The agreement, between CRISPR Therapeutics and Nkarta, includes three components. The biotechs will first co-develop two therapies that use natural killer cells, the body’s front-line defenders and Nkarta’s focus, to go after tumors. CRISPR will also lend its gene editing technology to Nkarta to soup up a group of its own cell therapy products. Third, and perhaps most ambitiously, the biotechs aim to make a complex and unusual treatment that would harness both NK cells and the T cells CRISPR has been using in its own treatments.